Praying for Christian unity

Anglican Church of Canada
3 min readJan 17, 2022

Contributed by Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls,
Anglican Church of Canada

Every year between the feasts of the Confession St. Peter and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 18 and 25) the World Council of Churches invites Christians to pray for Christian unity. Jesus prayed for the unity of the disciples:

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22–23)

Yet, even the early church struggled to maintain that unity as it faced discernment about their life and ministry. Subsequent centuries saw the church divided between: East and West; Roman Catholic and Protestant; and, internal divisions have divided many churches over doctrinal or polity questions.

Our witness to the love Jesus spoke about has been marred by our inability to demonstrate love and unity with one another. My own experiences of the gifts of other Christian communities have taught me to see the face of Christ in others; to be humble about my own tradition; and to recognize the many ways in which God is at work in the world beyond what I know and can see.

We are celebrating twenty years of full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. We have engaged in Anglican Roman Catholic Dialogue for over fifty years, deepening our understanding and sharing in prayer and ministry wherever possible. We share ministry with United Church ministers and congregations and are in dialogue with the Moravian Church in Canada seeking a full communion covenant. We are a church committed to the unity Jesus prayed for.

Over this week — I urge you to pray for the unity of the Church Jesus loved and gave his life for. Pray for the Christian communities in your neighbourhood.

In a time of so much online worship — share in the worship of another tradition with an open heart and mind to the presence of Christ there. Find ways to witness together to the love of Christ for the world.

LORD Jesus Christ, who didst say unto
thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you, my
peace I give unto you: Regard not our sins, but
the faith of thy Church, and grant unto it that
peace and unity which is agreeable to thy will;
who livest and reignest with the Father and the
Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
(Book of Common Prayer, 40)

Draw your Church together, O Lord, into one great company
of disciples, together following our Lord Jesus Christ into every
walk of life, together serving him in his mission to the world,
and together witnessing to his love on every continent and
island. We ask this in his name and for his sake. Amen.
(Book of Alternative Services, 676)

For resources and more this week — see



Anglican Church of Canada

The Anglican Church of Canada, a partner in the worldwide Anglican Communion, has approximately 600,000 members in 2,800 parishes across Canada.